Poland's Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (47-2-1, 33) successfully defended his WBC Cruiserweight title by out pointing Puerto Rican born Francisco Palacios (21-2, 13) in rematch of their controversial 2011 bout (which Wlodarczyk won by split decision).
The bout started well for the challenger who appeared to take a number of the early rounds on his work rate against a very passive looking champion who seemed content on throwing little more than an occasional stinging straight right hand. Despite not really doing much Wlodarczyk had the huge advantage of the crowd chanting "Diablo" every time he threw more than a few punches, which may have swayed the judging somewhat.
Despite having fallen behind on my card Diablo started to step up a gear in the middle rounds and whilst he wasn't dominating he was starting to make a strong argument to take a round here and there with one or two that seemed to be pretty rounds for the champion. By around round 8 both men were slowing which again gave Wlodarczyk a clear advantage as his it took away the one thing Palacios was doing well.
When a tiring Palacios became an easier target the champion appeared to finally show his class and championship spirit and appeared to just steal the fight due to winning the latter rounds. Despite not looking impressive he probably just did enough to claim the decision, especially at home, however Palacios was certainly a spirited challenger and may feel rather frustrated at not getting the decision.
Despite taking victory here Wlodarczyk is a very, very poor champion and someone who should be targeted by top challengers. Whilst he does appear to have some questionable judging in Poland he can be beaten and he can be out worked, and any top Cruiserweight should fancy their chances here.